A Real Miami Wedding


September 10, 2021
Words by Izzy Rosales
Photos courtesy of Madison Hope Photography

The most important ingredients to fun-loving couple Michael and Tessa’s wedding were entertainment and an ocean view. When COVID-19 restrictions made an overseas wedding infeasible, the domestic destination that beckoned them with these exact qualities was The Magic City.

“Miami holds a special place in our heart as our families have done joint trips down there together and we truly feel like it is a place that just gets us,” Tessa says. 

With all the city had to offer, including diversity, incredible art, fashion, music, and culture – the couple knew their guests would love this city as much as they always had. Destination set, Tessa and Michael began wading through a sea of social media and blog posts to find pearls of wedding wisdom and inspiration. That’s when they discovered Sunset Cove, a seaside, “hidden gem” of a venue. 

Although the couple handled most of the initial planning, they did hire a month-of coordinator, Ashley of House of Gather, to help with the logistics–a decision Tessa says was key to the couple getting to fully enjoy their wedding.

“A Month-of coordinator is something that I could not recommend enough,” the bride says. “When you’re the bride and groom, that [logistics] is something you have to let go of and entrust to someone else!”

Another exercise of trust for the couple was hiring most vendors without meeting face-to-face. Admittedly, the very visual couple struggled with this, but they made sure to communicate their vision and hire only the best of the best. 

“You have many choices but take it seriously when it comes to deciding who you want to execute each moving part,” Tessa says. “Past reviews and pictures/videos of past work are your best friend when making this decision.”

Luckily, their experienced vendors showed the couple patience and attention to detail right up to the wedding day. Only one snafu occurred with tenting, but the lighting vendor, PSID, went above and beyond to find a quick resolution. 

“This proved that having the highest quality vendors makes the biggest difference,” Tessa says. 

The day of the wedding was an idyllic Florida day- warm, sunny, and a stone’s skip to the beach. With the wedding party adorning elegant, black dresses and suits, the bride’s white gown radiated in the bright sun. The church ceremony was held in Miami Beach before the guests migrated to the nearby Key Biscayne for the reception.  

Upon arriving at the island, guests were greeted with the sight of white roses and orchids, the sound of the ocean surrounding them, and the feeling of the sea breeze that blew through the curtains of the sheer white tent. 

Surrounded by their friends and family, the couple danced the night away, basking in the celebration of their love. 

“Planning a wedding means a lot of opinions and advice will be thrown your way, take notes because there are important details you may have not even thought about, but make this day about you and your significant other,” Tessa says. “Make it about what you two truly like and want – not about what the latest trend is, not what the norm is, and not what someone else said should be done!”

Vendors: Photographer: Madison Hope Photography; Month of Coordination: The House of Gather; Ceremony Site: Saint Francis de Sales; Reception Site: Sunset Cove; Florist: Primrose Florals; Stationery: Shine Wedding Invitations; Cake: Cloud 9 Bakery; Hair & Makeup: Bellelite; Gown Designer: Stella York; Bridal Shop: One & Only Bridal; Groom’s Clothing Designer: Milano Exchange; Videography: New Rez Media; Lighting: PSID Group; Catering: Bill Hansen; Furniture rentals: Mi Vintage; DJ: Miami DJs; Cigar Roller: Cigar Stud; Transportation: Aralimo; Neon Sign: Elf’s Prop Shop; Photo Booth: Dipp Photography

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